There is a war in my soul.
One the one hand, this is a lot of work. Perhaps it is getting back into the saddle of being a student again. Perhaps it is the new experience of being a married-with-child student. Regardless, this is a lot of work.
But on the other hand: this is exactly what I desired, right? What a privilege it is to be a full-time student at a good seminary in North America. The president of the university rightly said that there are many Christians around the world who would give anything to be in our shoes.
My immediate goal is plain:
Have the goal of faithful pastoral ministry motivate and inform all my studies
There is much to be said for going to grad school immediately after undergrad: you are (generally) single, younger (= more energy), [book] smarter, and already in “study mode.” But I am thankful for my ministry experience and hope that it will help me have a clearer picture and hence reach the above goal.
Example: In Greek Exegesis, we are working through Colossians verse by verse (including textual criticism). I don’t just want to do the homework and be done with it; I want to view it as sermon prep (including thinking about and addressing specific CCCI issues) for a series in 2007-2008.